The Cruise Industry and Covid

Bruising for the Cruise Industry: How the Cruise Industry is Affected By Covid-19 Part VI

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If you want to be a cruiser, then you need to know how to cruise safely. There are a lot of world-travelers like me who get onto a cruise ship and blend right in. However, there are millions of people looking at their first cruise who wonder how safe it is. Cruising is one of the safest ways you can travel.

There is always a person nearby who can help you, and a medical facility right there. As long as you do not do anything stupid, you are relatively safe. Statistically, it is safer than flying. Thus, we are going to look at the top 10 things not to do to ensure that you enjoy your cruise.

  1. Do not get blind drunk- with the drink packages, you may hope that you get your money’s worth on the cruise by spending the time in a drunken stupor. If you drink, know your limits. While hangovers are miserable, so is falling and breaking a bone. Most major accidents on cruises happen to people who are very, very drunk. Be a good traveler, have your fun but know your limits.
  2. Do Not Forget Sunscreen- I have had two times where I was severely sunburned, once on a cruise and once on a rafting safari in Australia. Both times were not fun. My skin is relatively good at dealing with the sun, but no matter how good your base tan is, you still should pack some sunscreen. Apply it so that you can enjoy your cruise, not sit there suffering red as a lobster. This also lends itself to, do not fall asleep while sunning, that is another great way to get cooked.
  3. Do Not Overdo the Food- Like a dream of Oliver Twist singing “Food Glorious Food” cruises have the potential to be major weight gaining experiences. You have access to high-quality food 24 hours a day. Pace yourself. Yes, you should try everything but if you order too much you will burn yourself out, possibly even make yourself sick. Take your time, eat till you are almost full, and have several small meals a day. This can help you try everything and still lose weight.
  4. Do Not Buy into Fitness Scams- While we are on the topic of weight, the fitness rooms are great. Their plans, however, tend to be best at lightening your weight in the section of your wallet. Do not buy into “specialty” plans that will guarantee weight loss. This will mostly be water weight and when you get home, it will come right back.
  5. Do Not Buy Excursions outside of the Recommended- My strongest advice to stay safe is to always buy your excursions from your agent through the cruise line. Tell your agent that you only want to do excursions approved by the cruise line (most agents will insist on this any way. Never go with that great deal from a stranger. For every “great deal” story, there are dozens of people who get ripped off and still others who disappear. Play it safe, go with an approved excursion.
  6. Do Not leave your doors open- If you have a balcony, leaving your door open can seem cool. The sound of the waves and the morning sun, all that. However, leaving your balcony door open can be bad in poor weather. It can create a wind tunnel in your room that blows your stuff around.

    It also allows in bugs in. If your next-door neighbors are kleptos, sometimes they can get in too (this is why the door has a lock). It is also best practice not to leave your room door open. This is true even when traveling with a group. Mainly because you never know who may just pop in while you are in the shower and help themselves to your stuff.
  7. Do Not abuse/try to hook up with the crew- the crew can make your life great, and most of them do. However, do not be a bad person and harass the crew and treat them like slaves. They are professionals, and you should treat them as such. I see so many people who think because they are on a cruise, that they are better than the staff.
    That is a poor reflection on you, plus crew members talk and your service will go way down.

    Likewise, they are not there for your fun. Most cruise lines have a policy that crew members cannot hook up with passengers. So while that 20-something crew member may seem very friendly, it’s their job. Do not treat them as a sex-worker just because you are single on a cruise. It could get you thrown off for harassment.
  8. Do Not get frisky in public- Another thing that people do for some reason on a cruise is have sex in public (!). Do not be that dumb. You will be thrown off at the next port, and depending on the jurisdiction or who sees you, this could be a felony. Just because you are having fun, does not mean other people want to see it. You have a room, use it. Keep cruises family-friendly.
  9. Do Not Go Too Far on Your Own- Some people, like me, like to go off exploring. I should not do it, but I still do. However, if you are not experienced at being on your own in strange places, you may want to stay closer to the crowds. When people wander off, they get lost.

    This can lead to severe problems when you are in another country. Especially without a Visa. If you do get lost, ask to be taken back to the port or to the US Embassy. This so you can find your way home. If you’ve missed the boat, the Embassy can provide the paperwork you need to leave legally, also it’s US territory. This is important to stay out of local jails.
  10. Do Not fly in late the first day or out early on the last day- The last thing is that you need to be aware of is time. Most cruises sail at 5 PM. Often people think that a 3 PM flight will get them there on time, it will not. Any flight after 11 AM is rolling the dice with your cruise, because the ship will not wait for you. Do yourself a favor and either fly in early. Even the day before.

    This will give you ample time to relax, get to the cruise and enjoy the lunch buffet. Likewise, on the day you are leaving, book your flight after 3 PM. Anything earlier and you may be rushing to make your flight. Do not ruin your trip by rushing to get there or rushing to make your flight home. Plan ahead and enjoy your trip.

If you follow these simple guides, you generally will have a safer cruise. When in doubt, ask someone. Most cruise employees will be overjoyed to help you, it is their job. Take the time to talk to your steward, your head waiter, or any of the staff about what to do during your day. This will help you find a safe fun way to spend your time on the cruise.

Christopher W Smithmyer
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